“Everybody is a genius. but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid” – – Albert Einstein

All the notes were taken directly from the source mentioned.

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Founding Fathers and contemplate the history of other democracies and republics.

At the very beginning, anticipatory obedience means adapting instinctively, without reflecting, to a new situation.

Milgram grasped that people are remarkably receptive to new rules in a new setting. They are surprisingly willing to harm and kill others in the service of some new purpose if they are so instructed by a new authority.

1 Do not obey in advance.

2 Defend institutions.

The mistake is to assume that rulers who came to power through institutions cannot change or destroy those very institutions even.

So support the multi-party system and defend the rules of democratic elections. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

3 Beware the one-party state.

When fascists or Nazis or communists did well in elections in the 1930s or ’40s, what followed was some combination of spectacle, repression, and salami tactics slicing off layers of opposition one by one.

4 Take responsibility for the face of the world.

Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

Millions of people in Soviet Ukraine, Soviet Kazakhstan, and Soviet Russia died horrible and humiliating deaths between 1930 and 1933.

You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.

What might seem like a gesture of pride can be a source of exclusion.

5 Remember professional ethics.

If lawyers had followed the norm of no execution without trial, if doctors had accepted the rule of no surgery without consent, if businessmen had endorsed the prohibition of slavery, if bureaucrats had refused to handle paperwork involving murder, then the Nazi regime would have been much harder pressed to carry out the atrocities by which we remember it.

6 Be wary of paramilitaries.

It is impossible to carry out democratic elections, try cases at court, design and enforce laws, or indeed manage any of the other quiet business of government when agencies beyond the state also have access to violence.

What is novel is a president who wishes to maintain, while in office, a personal security force which during his campaign used force against dissenters.

Some killed from murderous conviction. But many others who killed were just afraid to stand out. Other forces were at work besides conformism. But without the conformists, the great atrocities would have been impossible.

Know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no.

8 Stand out.

The moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

When Winston Churchill became prime minister in May 1940, Great Britain was alone.

Nazi Germany and its Soviet ally dominated the continent. The Soviet Union had invaded Finland in November 1939, beginning with a bombing of Helsinki. Right after Churchill assumed office, the Soviet Union occupied and annexed the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Adolf Hitler had no special animus toward Britain or its empire, and indeed imagined a division of the world into spheres of interests. He expected Churchill to come to terms after the fall of France. Churchill did not.

In fact he himself helped the British to define themselves as a proud people who would calmly resist evil.

The essential German strategy had been to remove any resistance in the west, and then to invade (thus betraying) the Soviet Union and colonize its western territories. In June 1941, with Britain still in the war, Germany attacked its Soviet ally.

In December 1941, Japan bombed the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and the United States entered the war. Now Moscow, Washington, and London formed a grand and irresistible coalition. Together, and with the help of many other allies, these three great powers won the Second World War. But had Churchill not kept Britain in the war in 1940, there would have been no such war to fight.

Of course, Great Britain was only in the war because the Polish leadership had chosen to fight in September 1939.

9 Be kind to our language.

Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying.

More than half a century ago, the classic novels of totalitarianism warned of the domination of screens, the suppression of books, the narrowing of vocabularies, and the associated difficulties of thought.

In 1984, the language of visual media is highly constrained, to starve the public of the concepts needed to think about the present, remember the past, and consider the future.

the two-dimensional world makes little sense unless we can draw upon a mental armory that we have developed somewhere else. When we repeat the same words and phrases that appear in the daily media, we accept the absence of a larger framework.

10 Believe in truth.

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so.

You submit to tyranny when you renounce the difference between what you want to hear and what is actually the case.

As observers of totalitarianism such as Victor Klemperer noticed, truth dies in four modes, all of which we have just witnessed.

The first mode is the open hostility to verifiable reality, which takes the form of presenting inventions and lies as if they were facts.

One attempt during the 2016 campaign to track his utterances found that 78 percent of his factual claims were false.

The second mode is shamanistic incantation. As Klemperer noted, the fascist style depends upon endless repetition, designed to make the fictional plausible and the criminal desirable.

Yet through blunt repetition over Twitter, our president managed the transformation of individuals into stereotypes that people then spoke aloud.

The next mode is magical thinking, or the open embrace of contradiction.

The president’s campaign involved the promises of cutting taxes for everyone, eliminating the national debt, and increasing spending on both social policy and national defense. These promises mutually contradict.

The final mode is misplaced faith. It involves the sort of self-deifying claims the president made when he said that I alone can solve it or I am your voice.

Fascists despised the small truths of daily existence, loved slogans that resonated like a new religion, and preferred creative myths to history or journalism.

They used new media, which at the time was radio, to create a drumbeat of propaganda that aroused feelings before people had time to ascertain facts.

11 Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate propaganda campaigns (some of which come from abroad). Take responsibility for what you communicate with others.

It is your ability to discern facts that makes you an individual, and our collective trust in common knowledge that makes us a society. The individual who investigates is also the citizen who builds.

Like the leaders of authoritarian regimes, he promised to suppress freedom of speech by laws that would prevent criticism.

The political theorist Hannah Arendt took comfort in the inherent power of facts to overcome falsehoods in a free society: Under normal circumstances the liar is defeated by reality, for which there is no substitute; no matter how large the tissue of falsehood that an experienced liar has to offer.

So try for yourself to write a proper article, involving work in the real world: traveling, interviewing, maintaining relationships with sources, researching in written records, verifying everything, writing and revising drafts, all on a tight and unforgiving schedule.

Journalists are not perfect, any more than people in other vocations are perfect. But the work of people who adhere to journalistic ethics is of a different quality than the work of those who do not.

We find it natural that we pay for a plumber or a mechanic, but demand our news for free. If we did not pay for plumbing or auto repair, we would not expect to drink water or drive cars. Why then should we form our political judgment on the basis of zero investment? We get what we pay for.

If the main pillar of the system is living a lie, wrote Havel, then it is not surprising that the fundamental threat to it is living in truth.

If you are verifying information for yourself, you will not send on fake news to others. If you choose to follow reporters whom you have reason to trust, you can also transmit what they have learned to others.

We do not see the minds that we hurt when we publish falsehoods, but that does not mean we do no harm. Think of driving a car. We may not see the other driver, but we know not to run into his car. We know that the damage will be mutual. We protect the other person without seeing him, dozens of times every day.

12 Make eye contact and small talk.

Fascist Italy in the 1920s, of Nazi Germany of the 1930s, of the Soviet Union during the Great Terror of 193738, or of the purges in communist eastern Europe in the 1940s and ’50s,

When friends, colleagues, and acquaintances looked away or crossed the street to avoid contact, fear grew. You might not be sure, today or tomorrow,

When friends, colleagues, and acquaintances looked away or crossed the street to avoid contact, fear grew.

13 Practice corporeal politics.

If tyrants feel no consequences for their actions in the three-dimensional world, nothing will change.

Tyrants seek the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have hooks.

What the great political thinker Hannah Arendt meant by totalitarianism was not an all-powerful state, but the erasure of the difference between private and public life.

15 Contribute to good causes. Be active in organizations, political or not, that express your own view of life.

We tend to conclude that the individual should be empowered and the government kept at bay. This is all well and good. But one element of freedom is the choice of associates, and one defense of freedom is the activity of groups to sustain their members.

17 Listen for dangerous words.

Terror management: the exploitation of real, dubious, and simulated terror attacks to bring down democracy.

We allowed ourselves to accept the politics of inevitability, the sense that history could move in only one direction: toward liberal democracy.

The second antihistorical way of considering the past is the politics of eternity.

Its mood is a longing for past moments that never really happened during epochs that were, in fact, disastrous.


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